Once part of late Finnish rally driver Hannu Mikkola’s team, Quattro S1 E2 lived a successful second life in the British hill climb scene.
Though Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive helped place Ingolstadt in the spotlight back in the Eighties, it was the ur-Quattro itself that made the company a household name. It certainly arrived at the right time, too, right at the start of rallying’s Group B era. Once the Quattro placed all four of its wheels deep into the ground, it set a standard all competitors would follow to this day. And when those small engines made huge power through turbos, superchargers, and sometimes both, sending that power to all corners was a foregone conclusion.
What happens when those beasts leave the big stage, though? For one Quattro S1 E2, running up a few hills seemed to be in order. HillClimb Monsters recently unearthed rare footage of the Audi, run in the British hill climb scene by the late Tom Hammond.
“One of the most beloved HillClimb Monsters to ever compete in the UK,” HillClimb Monsters says, “this was Tom Hammond’s Audi Quattro S1 E2, an ex-Hannu Mikkola works unit, which the late Mr. Hammond campaigned for a number of years in the British HillClimb scene, beating plenty of ‘Closed Car’ Records at the time.”
The late Mikkola started his rallying career in various makes before jumping to Audi’s factory team in 1981. By 1983, he and co-driver Arne Hertz won the WRC World Championship, making Mikkola the oldest driver to win the crown to this day.
“With the 2.1L 5 Cylinder Turbo Engine producing upwards of 700Hp at its peak and weighing little over 1000Kg, it had the Pikes Peak Version bodywork fitted and certainly was a sight to behold,” Hillclimb Monsters said.
As for how Hammond acquired this Quattro, DriveTribe said he was shopping for a road-legal version in Germany when he spotted Mikkola’s ride. However it happened, Hammond returned to the U.K. “in style” with the Group B terror, and its tow vehicle.
It’s not often one sees a beast like this Quattro in public, let alone hear it. Let us all be thankful this footage exists to remind us how cool such Group B terrors truly were.